The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Keats, John
Record 2 of 3

System Number: 13610
Date: [March/May 1891][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
Call Number: Nouv. Acq. Fr. 15288, f. 81
Document Type: ALS[3]


O! cher Poète -

Demain va être je crains un jour encore un peu dans les choses impossibles! Les visites le matin - et courses, etc - Donc si bon vous semble - rejoignons-nous le tranquille dimanche, pour continuer le tableau[4] que la Belle Dame[5] à grand merci, attend dans sa perfection - et que je n'ose pas encore vous offrir!

[butterfly signature]

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Oh! dear Poet -

Tomorrow is I fear going to be another of those impossible situations! Morning visits - and shopping, etc. - So if you think it good - join us on peaceful Sunday, to continue the picture which the Belle Dame, in her great mercy, awaits in its perfection - and which I do not yet dare to give you!

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1.  [March/May 1891]
Dated by Montesquiou's known visit to London.

2.  Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

3.  ALS
Published in Newton, Joy, La Chauve-Souris et le Papillon. Correspondance Montesquiou-Whistler, Glasgow, 1990, no. 43, p. 92. A copy by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], is at #03021.

4.  tableau
Impressions de gris perle: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (YMSM 397).

5.  la Belle Dame
The reference is to the ballad by John Keats (1795-1821), poet [more], 'La Belle Dame sans merci', starting 'O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, / Alone and palely loitering?' J. Newton suggests JW means Elisabeth, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), née Riquer de Caraman-Chimay [more]. However, it is also possible that JW means Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more], since he gave a portrait of her the title La Belle Dame paresseuse (C.98).